Project summary

UNSW Engineering and Built Environment students design and build sustainable housing and education facilities for Cambodian villages.

Project outcomes

UNSW Engineering students from the Sustainable Energy for Developing Countries Course (SOLA5056), and UNSW Built Environment Architecture students, in collaboration with Cundall and RAW Impact, designed and built six different structures in Cambodia from 2013 to 2018.

On the most recent trip in 2018, UNSW students designed and built a bamboo workshop, which would be used to treat, process and store bamboo used in the construction for over 100 future homes.

Between 2016 and 2017 UNSW students also won a design competition by building a unique kindergarten facility and a bamboo community centre.

In 2014 students built new homes for two families in the local community. The designs included a separate kitchen area to reduce fumes in the main living area, a split roof to bring natural daylight and ventilation into the main living area and, much to the local children’s delight, a swing. These houses were designed to withstand monsoon conditions, with corrugated iron replacing the usual bamboo and palm-leaf roofing.


Chaom Trach villages, Cambodia

Population 1.9 million

16 hour journey from UNSW, Sydney

View on Google Maps.

Project timeline

2014 - 2018

United Nations Development Goals

SDG 4: Quality Education
SDG 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities